The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

February 13, 2014

Two more council candidates note endorsement rejections

Two more candidates for Joplin City Council seats that will be on the April ballot said Thursday that they were among those turned down for support from a local political action committee.

The Joplin Progress Committee announced earlier this week which City Council and Joplin School Board candidates it will financially support and/or endorse for the April 8 election.

Five of the nine City Council seats are up for election, and the PAC has endorsed four candidates, including two of the incumbents running for re-election.

Candidates could request both financial support and endorsement from the PAC, or ask solely for endorsement.

Two incumbent council members, Jack Golden and Mike Woolston, were turned down by the committee after their interviews.

Candidates Jim West and Harvey Hutchinson on Thursday said they too interviewed with the committee and were turned down for endorsement. Both said they do not harbor hard feelings toward the PAC.

“To me, it was just a pleasure to go to them and meet them,” Hutchinson said, adding that he’ll meet with other groups as well. “It’s a good chance to meet people, share our views and share our vision.”

West, who has formerly served on the council, said he went to the interview to tell the committee about himself.

“It was their decision to make,” West said. “I can abide by that, because it’s not going to deter me from campaigning.”

West said he is running for the council again because he enjoys the work and wants to help Joplin rebuild.

“We’ll let the voters decide if my experience is enough to be on the City Council,” he said.

Jane Cage, a director of the PAC, said the committee was formed because often there are good people who want to run in an election, but they might be hindered by finances.

Cage said the interviews were completed Friday, Feb. 7, and that the four council candidates who best represented the PAC’s mission, vision and values were selected.

About $19,000 has been raised so far by the committee, which has about 45 contributors, Cage said.

Woolston, who is a real estate agent, was criticized in a report from a council-ordered investigation regarding some property transactions. Woolston told the Globe on Wednesday that he was seeking both endorsement and financial support from the PAC, but he understands why the committee would want to wait and see how the investigation turns out.

Attempts by the Globe to contact Golden on Wednesday and Thursday for comment were not successful.

Councilman Mike Seibert and candidate Ryan Stanley will receive financial support and endorsement from the PAC. Councilman Gary Shaw and candidate Miranda Lewis will have the committee’s endorsement.

Councilwoman Trisha Raney said earlier that she did not interview with the PAC.

Stanley, Lewis, Woolston, West, Hutchinson and Raney are seeking three general seats on the council. Golden, who now holds a general seat, filed to challenge Seibert for his Zone 4 seat. Shaw is unopposed for re-election to his Zone 1 seat.

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